Nice move NWG vs. Grimsley last Friday night

Posted by Andy Durham on September 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm under High School | 27 Comments to Read

Was doing some research on last week’s games today and came across this item that I thought was of importance…..

Last Friday night late in the Northwest Guilford-Grimsley game, Greg Kernen came in for the NWG Vikings and Greg, being a special needs student, was really pumped up about his chance to get in on the action….

Greg’s teammate and fellow lineman, Matt Sugg, decided to check in with DJ Reader on the other side of the line and Reader, across the line on defense for Grimsley, was ready to listen to what Sugg was saying….

Sugg quietly told DJ to give Greg Kernen a chance to make a play/make a block and DJ, being the class act he is, stepped up and made sure that NWG’s Greg Kernen looked good on the play….

We mentioned Greg was a special needs kid and this was his chance to shine and he did thanks to Matt Sugg, DJ Reader and the NWG Vikings’ coach Joe Woodruff….

This is one of the things that go on during the course of the game that we don’t often hear about and it is good to catch a positive, coming out of game that sometimes only reflects on the negatives…..

A kid got his chance and again, Matt Sugg, DJ Reader, and especially Greg Kernen; Good Job last Friday night at Jamieson Stadium, and Coach Woodruff, thanks for giving the kids a chance……

Knowing DJ Reader and Matt Sugg, no real surprise that they were able to pull this off, class acts all the way and I have been seeing this from young David Reader for many years and Matt Sugg is merely follwing in his dad’s footsteps, since Mark Sugg roamed the Grimsley sidelines as an All-State lineman leading the Whirlies and later on the North Carolina Tar Heels, many years ago….

Nice move Vikings and Whirlies and a spot on this week’s All Guilford County Check List goes out to Greg Kernen from NWG……

  • David Hoggard said,

    Excellent post, Andy!

    I’ve know DJ for many years – he and my Jesse played baseball. He IS a class act and so is his family. Don’t know Suggs, but sound like some good upbringin’ there, too.

    Again, excellent post.

  • Underdogs Unite!! said,

    It’s things like these that make my heart smile.

  • ross said,

    Well done young men

  • David Reader Sr said,

    I did not ask DJ about the last couple of plays in the game last friday. I figured getting beat 40 -8 was painful enough. He didnt mention this situation. I learned about this tonight at our parent meeting.
    I will be the first to say that I am PROUD of my son.
    I have never met Matt Suggs but DJ speaks very highly of him. Im sure his parents are Proud.
    In the most important game these two young men are winners

  • fjmkfmjw said,

    billybobo im sorry ur so mad but why are you posting on this column… this is a special needs kid we are talking about who got to shine for 2 minutes!!! yes i am a northwest player. STOP HATIN PLAYA give nw the credit they deserve instead of cryin..

  • billybobo said,

    ok i am sorry about the special needs kid.. i truly am, but it really upsets me why grimsley can not win a SINGLE game, grimsley players had players who were bigger, stronger, talented, just better overall compared to NWG, but yet they still lose by 40-8.. now somthing isnt right here.. i mean i look around in this school, and i see some big and athletic looking kids, BUT there not playing football or any kind of sport.. i mean its a shame that these god given talent has gone to waste… but no one hasent answered my question, what happened to a dynasty(04-08) go so bad dramatically??????

  • kjnbkjbhbb said,

    i mean grimsley has a frshman qb… and an awful coaching staff. whocares about size speed atheleticism when you dont have coaches putting kids in the right position

  • Damon said,


    Can express yourself without cursing? This site is not the place for it. I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to get your point across without dropping the bomb, etc. That type of stuff is the reason why posts were being delayed on this site. Andy and staff don’t have time to babysit us. We have a voice here. There a very few limits and boudaries. You just crossed way over one. Watch the language please. I would hate to Andy proofing every post for content. Thanks.

  • NWG Grimsley said,

    1st off great job Greg Kearney! I’ve heard you put in a lot of hard work this season! From what I hear this young man is held to the same standards as any other NWG football player. He was and is required to do all the two-a-days, all the running and everything else that goes with being a high school football player. Also Great job by both teams…..To Sugg, Reader, and all the coaches you guys might not know it but you just made a memory for a young man that will last forever! That is something his family and him can reflect on 20 years from now.

    Coach Woodruff, and Coach Corio and staff…..Thank You for the job you’re doing! There is a lot of negative stuff that gets posted by people on web sites and it’s great to hear stuff like this come out.

  • topfin29 said,

    Billy bobo
    I think calling Grimsley a Dynasty from 04-08 might be a stretch. They were good 04-06 but they lost to Page in 07 and 08. I’ve been to several of their games and while I’m not a fan at all of their offense (OC Neal Mitchell) I don’t see a lot of athletic talent. They’ve got a freshmen QB who will be good and only one kid who can catch the ball. They had 7 passess dropped. I don’t get blaming Coiro for the fact that a lot of kids are not playing, they’ve had 4 head coaches in the past 5 years. They had 3 times as many kids out the first day of practice this year as last year. While I agree his staff needs some changes I think he is the right guy.

  • sefan said,

    What a great story. I guess this keeps it in perspective that it is truely about the kids. So often kids and parents (myself included) get so wound up about wins that we forget that most the kids on the team will not be playing sports after high school. This provides a momment that everyone can be proud of when they look back at their high school years.

  • quakerace said,

    First of all, kudos to the kids involved in this kind act. I must say though, how bad has it gotten to where we have to put up “in lights” a good deed such as this. How will Kearney feel when he finds out that Reader “took the play off” so he could shine? I had the opportunity, back in the mid-90’s to play high school basketball. And we played Williams from Burlington and their head coach had a son who was special needs. The game had gotten out of hand and he was put in the game to a roaring ovation from their student body. GREAT! And yes I happened to be the one guarding him, and yes when he got the ball in the corner I did not exactly go my hardest out to defend the 3 point shot he took. It was no where close to going in, but personally as an athlete at that moment felt a little weird. What if I had blocked his shot? How would that have been perceived? Boo’ed most likely, but as a competitor would that have been the thing to do?

  • 1whoknows said,

    Enough about the number of kids playing for Grimsley. Last year the program JV and Varsity had over 80 players, so you are telling me there are 240 players on the team now? I counted last friday and there was around 40 kids on varsity, same as last year.

  • what a joke said,

    first of all to billybobo and quakerace you are the reason why todays sports are like they are now. worried about a win hey mr all worlds its a game , a freakn game. to curse and carry on like that is so sad. quakerace your comment was distasteful you had to guard him are you serious. hey guy its a special needs kid with limited abilities and your talking about being a competitor? you guys amaze me reading that crap that you both wrote makes me sick. you guys are probably the ones that never got to play or was never in the spot light , go figure apple doesnt fall from the tree. you guys have no spine and no respect for anybody but yourself. both of you get a life you both should be ashamed of yourselves ,grown men or should i say heartless men.

  • sefan said,

    You know all this discussion brings up a good point. Since when did we become a society where we have to beat everyone by 8 touchdowns? I see this from the 7 and 8 year old rec league sports up. At some point can we not get our subs in or let someone who hasn’t played a position in a game tryit? Can we not hold up that runner at third when we are up 20 to 0? Can we kick a field goal instead of score another touchdown when we are up 60 to 10?

    At some point we lose respect for the game and the opposition when we can’t let up on the throttle a little when the game is over. In reality if hurts our own teams when we do this because our subs get no real game experience and our teams are devistated when the “star” gets injured or happens to be sick one game. I think this is also why some teams are slow to get rhythm until they are several games into a season. If players are good enough to wear the uniform then they should be able to get in the game periodically.

    I’m a softy but Quakerace if you had blocked that shot and I was the coach your butt would have been on the bench.

  • Michele & Don Kernen said,

    To Coach Woodruff & all the NW Coaches, Matt Suggs and DJ Reader, I can’t express our gratitude to you all. You have all given our son a chance of a life time and something he will never forget. Matt from NW & DJ from Grimsley you are both a class act and your kindness to a fellow player was outstanding. Coach Woodruff and all the NW Coaches you have given our son something to talk about for the rest of his life, somehting he will never forget. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you. Last Friday night you were all winners ! The Kernen Family

  • 1whoknows said,

    sefan, I do agree with you to a point, no need to beat a team by 8 TD’s and show up your competition and your opponent should be respected. But there is a second string for a reason. Just like in life not everyone gets to play

  • Andy said,

    What’s talked about on this site by next week, people will have forgotten it and moved on to another topic…..

    What happened on that field last Friday night with Greg, Matt, and DJ will be remembered for a lifetime…..

    Good job guys and thanks for making a difference…….

  • what a joke said,

    1whoknows did you not get to play? you right a 2nd string ,3rd, and 4th and kids that not on any string but will still GET TO PLAY. so whats your point? i see on here that we have some narrow minded people on this sight. remember people these same people that posts dumb comments are the same ones i hear yelling at the top of their lungs at their kids all night. trying to live their dreams through their kids that are probably not that good . they are the ones that everyone hears and looks at and says poor kid i know he or she hates to go home . what ashame. its a GAME PEOPLE , A GAME . NOT A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION. A GAME ,A KIDS GAME AT THAT.

  • Tom said,

    Wins and losses are fleeting, but this will be remembered by all parties involved for a long time. To the person who thought that a competitor should try and block the shot of a special needs player, I can only say WOW! Competition only exists when the competitors are playing on an even playing field. It sounds like you do understand that sportsmanship is an important part of any competition. The three young men involved in this story do get it.

  • Panther Fan said,

    What a show of character!!!

    These are the moments we should talk about more.

    Great Job to all involved!

  • HS Football said,

    Somethings in life are more important than a win or loss in a game. This is one of them…. Great Job Greg for pushing yourself and getting on the field in a Varsity football game!

    To Matt Sugg and DJ Reader… guys are class acts this is what it truly means to be a leader! Thank you!!!

  • baseballfan said,

    I am sure all quakerace was saying was what have we come to when we have to put it out there and give people pats on the back for doing something that was the right thing to do in the first place. To defend, I read quakerace as saying “What if” he had blocked the shot? Not that he did! You know some coaches teach their kids not to take plays off, and guess what moms and dads, THATS OKAY too. Just because we now have a society where everybody gets a trophy don’t bash someone who came from a time when everybody DIDN’T get a trophy! And for all you parents that never played a down of football, a quarter of basketball or an inning of baseball find another blog…..

  • Youth Sports Expert said,

    See article below to learn about where we are as a society in youth sports

    Life is Not Always a Fair Game

    by D.L. Stewart, courtesy of Tribune Media Service

    In Wisconsin, a high school girl’s basketball coach announced that he was quitting his job at the end of the season. He had guided his team to two state championships, but parents complained that he made some players cry.~ In Virginia, another basketball coach is starting over. Shortly after she coached her girls team to the state championship, she was relieved of her duties because players–and their parents–complained that she was ‘verbally abusive.’~ According to the unhappy player, “A sport…should be fun and coaches shouldn’t interfere and make life miserable.”~ With increased frequency the players–and their parents–want to run the locker room.
    An article in USA Today cited 11 recent cases in which high school or college coaches faced open rebellion from their players. Along with ‘verbal abuse’ and ‘making them cry,’ the coaches were accused of ‘favoritism,’ ‘poor communication with players and parents.’

    In my career as a sports parent, four of my kids were on high school athletic teams. I’m not sure how many of their coaches played favorites. I can’t say whether or not they had poor relationships with their players. My communication with their coaches was pretty much limited to trying to find out what time they thought practice might end, if ever. Which doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested in my kids’ athletics.

    I went to every one of their games and plenty of their practices. I sat in rainstorms and watched them roll around on muddy football fields. I stood at the edge of lumpy soccer fields and watched them kick each other in the shins. I drove through hail to find basketball courts that had not heat and no zip codes. Just about the only place I never went was into the coach’s office to fight my kids’ battles for them. Not because I didn’t care about my kids. But because I did.

    My feeling was that there comes a time when parents have to let their kids learn about life. And high school sports and activities are a great time to start. High School activities do a lot more than teach kids how to pass, dribble, dance or play an instrument. It has a lot of other valuable lessons. It teaches them that not all coaches are fair. Which might ease the shock when they find out that not all bosses are fair. It teaches them that coaches don’t always have the time, or inclination, to worry about whether something they say might bruise a student’s feelings. Which might prepare them for a world that does not always have the time, or the inclination, to worry about bruising their feelings.
    It teaches them that, no matter how wonderful mommy and daddy have told them they are, there are plenty of other kids just as wonderful. Which might make it easier for their egos to handle the blow on the inevitable day they discover that mommy and daddy were wrong and they are not the center of the universe, after all.
    Some parents feel high school is too early for their kids to learn lessons like those. I think it’s almost too late.

  • lOIS KERNEN said,

    To coach Woodruff & all the NW. coaches, Matt Sugg & DJ Reader. As Gegg kernen’s grandmother . I want to thank you all for making a special young man’s life a lot happier. I only wish there were more people in this world this kind. You are all class acts.

  • Sgt. Ryan Kernen said,

    Great job Gregg! I am very proud of you and your team mates. It realy shows what a tight nit team you are when you can come together and make plays happen. I would expect nothing less. Keep up the great work and keep the stories coming. It’s always a pleasure to read about my brothers while I am here in Afghanistan.

  • The Barnes Family said,

    This is great way to go guys! Greg we could not be more proud of you. I love hearing that there are some nice people looking out for my brother.